Tuesday, January 20, 2009

would polygamy work today? - part 2

Some of you have commented that polygamy would solve the shidduch crisis. It probably would...
And what if...
Abolishing polygamy actually CREATED the shidduch crisis?
What if the Torah meant for men to have more than one wife?
What if monogamy is actually NOT the ideal?
Would polygamy bring an end to adultery? divorce? abuse?

(these may just be crazy thoughts... but crazy is a fine line away from genius)

7 comments:

The Wandering Wondering Jew said...

The problem with implementing polygamy again is that a lot of men feel that it gives them a free license to commit adultery without repercussions. This is not the case.

The ideal polygamous marriage involves all the women being agreeable to the idea and accepting of one another. If all the women are agreeable to the situation and the husband divides his time, energy and finances between each wife equally [he has to have decent financial state as well], there is actually very little jealousy involved. Most women are driven to jealousy because they are feeling neglected/abandoned/ignored by their husband for one reason or another. Having 2 [or 3 wives] adds additional companionship so even if the husband is gone on a business or - G-d forbid - dies, the wives still have one another for support. For example, if the husband passes away, one wife can seek employment while the other tends to the home & children.

I'd personally would not mind a polygamous marriage as long as the terms for an acceptable one were met. However, finding such a relationship is like looking for a needle in a haystack or so it seems.

The Wandering Wondering Jew said...

I should add that abolishing polygamy has indeed encouraged the shidduch crisis although current cultural influences do not help.

In places where polygamy is still practiced by Jews, there isn't a shidduch crisis unless there are more males than females. However - traditionally - there are always more women than men. [China doesn't count here as they have the opposite issue by their own doing.]

Cultural influences have strongly changed the ideas of what should be looked for in a bride as far as looks and skills are concerned which leaves a lot of women - who would've been considered great beauties of immense talent 80+ years ago - without marriage prospects.

On top of that, men do not have the same responsibilities that they did even 30-40 years ago. It is taking them longer and longer to mature and take on the duties as husband/father/provider. Due to the time it now takes them to mature but they are still being forced in marriage at 18 to 25 is quite possibly contributing to the rising divorce rates especially those in the Orthodox community.

This lack of maturity makes the possibility of polygamy becoming valid even more of an issue. Most males struggle with just one wife. They are ill-equipped to have two or more.

Ariella said...

In this day and age? NO - Polygamy WOULD NOT WORK.

It's useless to discuss it, at any length. The way men and women and society has been - at least in Western countries - for the last 400 years is monogamous relationships exclusively.

It will never happen, work, or come to be.

So why bother talking about it?

Bricktop said...

How about instituting polyANDRY?
Now that, I would vote for.

Moshe said...

You know, kollel people should be very pro polygamy. Think about it, extra wife, extra income, extra chance to collect welfare, foodstamps, etc. from the government.

Frayda said...

moshe - lol

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

I remember learning in sem, that men actually are allowed to have many wives. I could check back at my notes to give you the details.